Shiki (manga): Chapter 9 – 11
So I’m not quite (un)dead, but in addition to my bad bout of RSI over the last two months I’ve also been extremely anaemic – guess all that Shiki fangirling attracted some sort of real shiki to me! As such I dropped off the face of the blogosphere without any notice and I do apologise profusely for that – its been rather depressing not being able to write whenever I wanted to! So much, much later that planned lets talk about chapter 9 – 11 of the Shiki manga. Day got her post up in a timely fashion, please do go read it if you haven’t already; we will both be back on track for these weekly visits to Sotoba from next week on.
I’ve been trying to sort out what episodes of the anime correspond to these chapters, the anime really chopped & changed the material quite a bit as these three chapters are roughly covered by episodes 7 – 10 but in a rather different order. Again the manga seems to be much more linear and its easier to follow the plot, but the anime just has that extra edge of tension thanks to its use of cliffhangers.
Chapter 9 picks things up with Ozaki the morning after his and Seishin’s initial contact with the undead Nao at the clinic’s window. Of particular note is how Ritsuko reacts to Setsuko conveying her ‘dream’ about the dead Nao visiting her in the night – it’s almost identical to Ozaki’s reaction. If only these two had of noticed that! It never fails to frustrate me that Toshio didn’t confide in his staff a bit more, Ritsuko could have been a great ally for him. It’s also worth noting that Setsuko’s unease about her ‘dream’ of Nao gets more acute as the day wears on, it seems to indicate that the shiki hypnotism weakens the longer the shiki is kept away from its victim corresponding with the victim regaining their health – I don’t think that was really made clear in the anime.
The shiki assault on the Ozaki clinic goes down in essentially the same manner as it does in episode 09 of the anime, the only other detail I picked up on was Seishin remembering his encounter with Sunako in the woods when mentioning that the shiki may have good night vision. Clearly Seishin is already making the connection to the Kirishiki’s even before Tatsumi makes his grand entrance and declares that to be the case. Also intriguing is Seishin’s wanting to ‘settle the matter with the undead once and for all today‘ when the shiki have finished draining Setsuko & ran off. It’s uncharacteristically proactive for our usually passive monk, but of course since focus shifts to Natsuno for the rest of the chapters we don’t really see what Ozaki’s response to this statement is. The end of chapter 9 ends with a statement from what seems to be Seishin’s POV;
If I think about it, from that time onwards Toshio couldn’t forgive the undead. They were beyond human. They were not human.
(Shiki manga ch9 pg46-47)
Indeed this is a major turning point for Ozaki as the attack on his clinic is seen in a very personal manner for him – there’s no way Ozaki’s pride would allow him to back down from this fight now.
Since the aftermath of Natsuno, Kaori & Akira digging up Megumi’s grave & whacking that shiki fella with the shovel is exactly the same as it was in episode 10 of the anime, and very little was different about Shizuka’s visit to the Yuuki household, lets move onto chapter 10.5 with Masao’s rising from the dead.
The biggest immediate difference in this scene is that Masao wakes up in that shack in the woods rather than in his coffin as in episode 7 of the anime. I think I preferred the anime’s interpretation, it really heightened the creepy factor to have Masao furiously scratching at the lid of the coffin before Tatsumi finally uncovered the grave. However I can see how the manga’s version is a bit more practical, Tatsumi really doesn’t want to take the risk of anyone overhearing his explanation of the world of the shiki so its better to have him tell Masao everything in a controlled environment. It’s also worth noting that in the manga Tatsumi spells out that the shiki require a very specific type of blood to survive – human blood, which is something that was left a bit undefined in the anime.
Tatsumi really knows how to manipulate Masao; the boy is painfully lonely with a severe inferiority complex and Tatsumi really plays on those weaknesses by using words like ‘special’ and ‘chosen’, it’s all too easy to bring Masao into line. This chapter also gives us a bit more of an insight into how Masao views the world around him – he’s very much on the outside looking in, even among the shiki. Masao is frightened by how quickly the other shiki can turn on their hunter’s instincts – Masao himself seems reluctant to cave to those instincts, briefly considering going after Natsuno before quickly giving that up as impossible for him. Masao is still a very unlikable character, but he’s so pathetic that its hard not to pity him sometimes.
The rest of the stuff covered in these chapters is more or less identical to how they were portrayed in the anime. There are just a few supplementary details here and there which serve to flesh the characters out a little bit more – like the fact that Natsuno’s frustration with his parents is a bit more understandable in the manga. Mr Yuuki comes over as completely pig-headed and Natsuno seems to be more disillusioned by his father’s mentality rather than stroppy – he just sighs and lets the matter drop when he asks his dad where all his crosses & things went from his room.
The manga also highlights much more the fact that very few people call Natsuno by name – when Tohru calls out to him from the window it completely stuns Natsuno, and he admits that no one else would have been able to phase him the way Tohru does – Tatsumi shows how well he can read people in choosing Tohru to attack Natsuno. Talk about adding fuel to the BL fire!
And that takes us up to the end of chapter 11 so I’ll leave it there~!